BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: The Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar (CMU-Q) is gearing up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its inception in the country in March this year. To mark the milestone, the varsity has announced to publish a comprehensive report highlighting the important achievements made over the decade, said Ilker Baybars (pictured), Dean of CMU-Q here.
The event will be held on March 18 between 6pm and 9pm at the CMU-Q campus located at the Education City.
“We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year in March. We are also in the process of publishing a report on the success and achievements of ten years of our operations in Qatar,” Dr Baybars told The Peninsula.
The campus, started in 2004 with merely 41 students in two programmes, has now grown to over 400 students in five exceptional programmes, including Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Business Administration and Computational Biology, which adds a great value to mark the 10th anniversary of its operation in Qatar.
“Qatar Foundation brought us for imparting quality education, and in a way we have put Qatar on the global map, with two of our female students from Computer Science have ended up getting ‘The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship’ which is given only to 40 students from the Middle East and Africa. Qatar being a relatively small country and bagging five percent of the seats is a big success,” he said.
Dr Anita Borg (1949 –2003), an American computer scientist, founded the Institute for Women and Technology (now the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology). She devoted her life to revolutionising the way we think about technology.
Asked to comment about Qatar’s development model, Baybars, an expert in production management, said: Qatar’s human and land resources are disproportionate to its natural resources, so the dependency on foreign manpower will continue over the next few decades, which further complicates other factors, given the limited amount of pure water, it will become more scarce with the population growth.”
He also noted that important decision such as what to produce and how to produce are needed to be taken very carefully, in line with other countries facing similar constraints.
“Look at the case of Japan where the issues are very similar to Qatar but in a different fashion. In Japan, the population is very big and land is very small. So they are also dependent on imports of some food items such as rice, cantaloupes and others,” he said.
He agreed that depending on others for food is not easy because you always have to be careful about the quality of imports.
“Japan sources vegetable and fruits from New Zealand, I asked them why they don’t import the same from Europe and the US at reduced cost. They say, since New Zealand did not witness any war so their soil is not contaminated.”
He also suggested that the long-hailed theory of comparative cost advantage is still effective in taking production decisions. Economics cannot be ignored while making important decisions.
“If an energy-rich economy like Qatar enjoys in producing hydrocarbons and petrochemicals, go for it”, said the Dean.